Enhance Your Pleasure Safely: Know Your Lubes!

“Lubricant is more a sex essential than a sex toy, like olive oil, a staple on the grocery store list. It simply makes everything go more smoothly.” Rachel Venning and Claire Cavanah, “Sex Toys 101: A Playfully Uninhibited Guide.”

Ah, lubricants. There are so many facets of sex positivity to cover and keeping sex comfortable, safe and pleasurable is right up there in importance. Read on.

Personal lubricants can be a welcome relief when a woman is aroused yet finds that her natural lubrication is reduced due to hormone decline, side affects of certain medications, stress, or other reasons. (Yes, it’s true. Lubrication is a sign of arousal, but a woman can be very aroused and not produce sufficient lubrication. Also, a woman’s lubrication may decline over the course of a lengthy sexual interlude even as she is very aroused and engaged.) My point: lack of lubrication doesn’t suggest lack of interest or arousal—it doesn’t mean something’s “wrong.” Leave the judgement in the night stand--pull out the lube and carry on!

Lubricants can also increase a couples’ pleasure and safety when used with condoms, and can reduce the risk of condom breakage. Yet, not all lubricants are created equally, and in fact, some can be downright harmful to sensitive genital tissues. More alarming still, some lubricants are so packed with excess salts and sugars that they dry out and damage fragile tissues, making a woman more susceptible to sexually transmitted infections, yeast and bacterial infections. Click here, for more information, and list of lubes you want to toss if you have them!

In general, there are three kinds of lubricants: water based (including flavored), silicone based and natural oils, such as coconut oil.

Oil-based lubricant

It is important for women to know how to choose lubricants! For women with no need for condom usage (committed relationship, no pregnancy concerns, no STI concerns), coconut oil is a simple, delightful and effective lubricant with a fabulous texture that tastes good. It can be messy, so a towel comes in handy! Never use coconut or any other oil with a latex condom, as it will degrade the condom during use. Keep a separate jar in the bedroom! This is my personal favorite.

Water-based lubricants

Chose water-based lubricants that are free of sugars (glycerin/glycol), petro-chemicals, Nonoxynol-9, and paraben; these ingredients have no business on your genitals and as mentioned above, can make you more susceptible to STIs, and other infections! As a general guideline, look for lubes with natural ingredients, such as Eugene’s own Good Clean Love, or Aloe Cadabra. I recommend that you not use arousal, flavored and desensitizing lubes due to the added chemicals—your vagina simply doesn’t need the aggravation. One exception: flavored lubes can be a nice addition when giving oral sex with a condom.

Silicone lubricants

Silicone is an ultra-slippery lubricant that is not water-soluble—it stays on in the shower, bathtub, swimming pool, etc., and can only be removed using soap and water. Silicone lubricants are effective with condoms. Frankly, despite the acclaim, I’m not a fan of any substance that lingers on tissues, so unless water-based lubricants just don’t work well for you, I recommend skipping the silicone. It is also expensive AND cannot be used with silicone based sex toys—it will turn your silicone toys to mush in short order.

Remember, Eugene’s As You Like It is an eco-conscious pleasure store, and its owners carefully screen all products; As You Like It offers small samples of its lubes, giving buyers an economical way to try out lubes that have been vetted for safety. The old maxim, “try before you buy” fits and can save you good money!

In sum, women can be very sexually aroused yet not producing adequate lubrication for sex to be pleasurable and lubricants can make condom usage more pleasurable and safer for both parties. Safe, natural lubricants can be the prefect addition to enhance sexual pleasure!